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agape- (Greek > Latin: love feast of the early Christians; love, love feast; to love).

In Christian Theology, God's love for man, divine love; or spontaneous, altruistic love.

1. Christian love.
2. Spiritual, as opposed to sexual, love.
3. The love feast accompanied by Eucharistic celebration in the early Christian church.
The doctrine exalting the value of love, especially in its general, nonsexual sense.

An iconoclastic view:
" 'Love Feast,' first of Aphrodite's holy whores (Horae), was canonized as a Christian saint when icons of the Horae were re-lableled 'virgin martyrs': Sts. Agape, Chione, and Irene. Agape originally personified the rite of sexual communion, as practiced in Aphrodite's temples and adopted by some early Christian sects as a Tantric type of 'spiritual marriage.' By the 7th century C.E. (Common Era) the agape ceremony was declared heretical, but it continued secretly throughout the Middle Ages."

The Woman's Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets
by Barbara G. Walker; Harper San Francisco,
A Division of Harper Collins Publishers; 1983; page 12.